Was Trump's Would-Be Assassin Inspired by a 'Climate of Hate'?
Did the left-wing "climate of hate," which has been plaguing Donald Trump and his supporters for many months, incite an autistic British man to take extreme measures to "stop" him? If Sarah Palin and the tea party could be blamed for the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, then it's fair to question if Donald Trump's critics can be blamed for the attempt on his life.
A few days ago, 20-year-old Michael Steven Sandford attempted to kill the Republican presumptive nominee at a rally at the Treasure Island Casino. Sandford tried to take a gun from a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer in order to assassinate Trump but failed in his attempt, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
The British national, who was living in the United States illegally on an expired visa, now faces up to ten years in prison after apparently making a confession to a Secret Service agent. Media coverage of what should be a major story has been somewhat less than wall-to-wall. Would the media be this curiously disinterested if the assassination attempt had been on Hillary Clinton?
The same could be said if it had happened with Barack Obama in the summer of 2008. Questions would be debated on air for weeks on end about the evil lurking in the hearts of men and why someone would be so desperate to prevent the election of the first black or female president. But when someone plots for more than a year to kill Trump, travels across the country to find an opportunity and then launches his attempt, it creates barely a ripple in the media pond.
Protests at Trump rallies have become increasingly violent in recent weeks, with the media often blaming the GOP candidate himself for inciting the violence. Of course, the only ones to blame for violence at a Trump rally are the people behaving violently. The same could be said for young Mr. Sandford, but since "right-wing rhetoric" and a "climate of hate" were blamed for a lunatic's misdeeds five and a half years ago, perhaps it is worth examining the possibility that left-wing rhetoric and an anti-Trump "climate of hate" are to blame for the assassination attempt on Trump.
As you may remember, in January of 2011 Jared Loughner opened fire outside of a Safeway in Tucson where U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was speaking. He shot his target Giffords in the head, and killed 6 other people, including a chief U.S. District Court judge and a 9-year-old girl. Throughout the media -- not just left-wing blogs -- a narrative was aggressively pushed that the right was somehow to blame for the horrific massacre. It's hard to remember -- because the the left's "two minutes of hate" these days is devoted to the NRA and "lax gun laws" -- but in 2011, the left's "Emmanuel Goldstein" du jour was tea party golden girl Sarah Palin. Thus, a right-wing "climate of hate" as personified by Palin and the tea party was blamed for inciting Loughner. It didn't take long for the truth to come out: Loughner was no Sarah Palin fan and his political leanings were decidedly to the left (to the degree they were in fact anything). But that didn't matter. The initial narrative took root, and Sarah Palin and the tea party were diminished in stature.